Legal Sports

Brother Of Former Bears LB Urlacher Charged In Illegal Sports Betting Ring

The brother of former Chicago Bears linebacker and Pro Football Hall of Famer Brian Urlacher was among 10 people charged Thursday in a federal indictment alleging they ran an illegal offshore sports betting ring.

Casey Urlacher, who is also the mayor of the village of Mettawa, an Illinois suburb approximately 35 miles north of Chicago, faces one count of conspiracy and one count of running an illegal gambling business in the 28-page indictment filed in U.S. District Court in Chicago.

Prosecutors allege Casey Urlacher was a recruiter for the betting ring, which had approximately 1,000 gamblers according to the indictment, and received cuts of bettors’ losses. The charges carry a maximum of five years in prison.

Specific mentions in the indictment

In the section of the indictment labeled “Overt Acts,” Urlacher’s name is listed seven times among 39 acts. On Dec. 16, 2018, Urlacher reportedly asked Vincent Delgiudice — considered the leader of the betting ring who also went by “Uncle Mick” — to create a login and password for a new bettor. On the same day, Delgiudice called “Company A” and requested a login and password for a new gambler that had “a $500 maximum bet, a maximum wager for the week of $3,000, and a settle up figure of $1,000.”

Five days later in Oak Brook, Illinois, Vasilios Prassas — also among the defendants — allegedly gave Delgiudice an envelope containing gambling debts owed by Urlacher and specifically stated, “This is Casey’s.”

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On Dec. 26, Urlacher called Delgiudice to shut down an account belonging to “Gambler C” in the indictment until Gambler C had paid. Delgiudice called “Company A” to shut down the account, and after Gambler C wired Urlacher $3,000 to settle the debt, Urlacher texted Delgiudice and directed him to activate the account.

Missed opportunity for Illinois sports betting star power

The indictment against Casey Urlacher could not come at a more inopportune time in the sense that Brian Urlacher is a highly regarded celebrity sports figure who could have helped the impending launch of legal sports betting in Illinois. Brian Urlacher, who was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2018, has a constant media presence in the Chicago area via billboards and advertisements through his endorsement of RESTORE Hair and is revered by Bears fans after a standout 13-year career with the club, highlighted by a Super Bowl appearance in 2007.

Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker has expressed optimism sports betting would be live in time for the NCAA “March Madness” basketball tournament, and three casinos have been granted temporary operator permits while awaiting approval to accept bets.

Urlacher had previously placed a ceremonial first bet at Blue Chip Casino in Michigan City, Indiana, ahead of the 2019 NFL season opener between the Bears and Green Bay Packers shortly after sports betting became legal in the Hoosier State.

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.com

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